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Thursday’s CSExtra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. NASA gets a date with House appropriators to discuss the agency’s proposed 2013 budget. NASA’s Space Launch System development team conducts a test firing. NASA postpones a visible Washington D. C. area sounding rocket launch because of signal interference. Huge star systems recycle their stellar material, a German led study concludes. Some planets bounce between stars, according to British researchers. New solar activity could deliver a glancing blow today.
1. From Spacepolicyonline.com: NASA’s House appropriations panel, the Commerce, Science Justice Subcommittee, will hear from NASA Administrator Charles Bolden on March 21. So far, the agency has faced some rough sledding over proposed cuts to planetary space funding and concerns over the future of Commercial Crew Development and the Space Launch System.
A. From Aviation Week & Space Technology: Scientists chartered to advise NASA on its planetary exploration strategy urge the agency to restore funds for Mars exploration in its 2014 budget. The White House budget proposal for 2013 will cut the planetary science line. NASA has already withdrawn from two joint U. S./European Mars missions as a result. The reductions quickly met with Congressional opposition.
http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_channel.jsp?channel=space&id=news/asd/2012/03/14/07.xml&headline=Scientists Circle Wagons Against Cuts At NASA
2. From The Huntsville Times: Engineers at the Marshall Space Flight Center carry out a 20 second firing of a scaled version of the solid rocket motors assigned to NASA’s new Space Launch System. The test exposed new rocket insulating materials to thermal and propulsive forces. The SLS is the heavy lift rocket under development to start future astronauts on missions to a range of deep space destinations.
3. From the Washington Post: Plans for successive launches of five NASA sounding rockets from Wallops Island, Va., late Wednesday are scrubbed because of a radio interference problem. The launches could be re-scheduled for early Friday. The suborbital rockets are instrumented for studies of high altitude winds.
4. From Space.com: A German led astronomy team finds that the Milky Way and scores of other galaxies generate new stars by recycling old stellar material. The findings address a mystery about old galaxies forming new stars.
5. From USA Today: A study by British astronomers finds that some exo-planets in binary systems may hop from one of the star to another. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/sciencefair/post/2012/03/planets-may-bounce-between-twin-stars/1
6. From Spaceweather.com: Another coronal mass ejection unleashed by a strong solar flare earlier this week could give the Earth’s magnetic field a glancing blow today. The encounter could produce moderate geomagnetic storms. For updates:
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